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04/23/2015

Winthrop's Think College Student Takes Home Scholarship From Star-Filled Event

Quick Facts

 The 36th installment of UNCF An Evening of Stars, which will air on Sunday night, April 26, on BET, will feature singer Toni Braxton giving Winthrop’s Terence Brice of Rock Hill his scholarship award as the national recipient.
 The show was taped in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 12 with other celebrities appearing, including Usher, Kevin Hart and Pharrell.

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Joshua Johnson, left, and Terence Brice
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - One of Winthrop University's Think College students mingled with the stars recently and took home a $10,000 Autism Speaks United Negro College Fund (UNCF) scholarship.

The 36th installment of UNCF An Evening of Stars, which will air on Sunday night, April 26, on BET, will feature singer Toni Braxton giving Winthrop’s Terence Brice of Rock Hill his scholarship award as the national recipient. The show was taped in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 12 with other celebrities appearing, including Usher, Kevin Hart and Pharrell.

They weren't the main attraction though, said organizers. The event raised money and awareness for minority education. In between performances, there were inspiring scholarship presentations to 20 students.

For Brice, the money will help him continue as a first-semester freshman at Winthrop Think College, which offers post-secondary education opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities. The two-year program creates customized schedules for each student using a person-centered planning approach. The focus of the Think College Program is to build and strengthen skills in the areas of employment, self-determination, health and nutrition, social networking and independent living, said Jennifer Cease-Cook, director of Winthrop Think College.

Brice plans to use the scholarship to fulfill post-school goals that involve working with computers and clerical work. He has an internship at Dacus Library where he checks books in and out, and handles shelving and recycling/shredding. "I like using the shredder machine," he said, which is about the size of a school bus. "I also like the big buildings and making new friends."

Because Brice struggles with social skills, he has enrolled in several classes at Winthrop Think College to improve those skills. Over the past few months, he has worked one-on-one at Winthrop with peer mentor Joshua Johnson, a special education major who has a brother with autism, on specific self-determination and social skills.

Brice's parents have commented that they have already seen tremendous growth. He now greets people and speaks to people that he has previously never made eye-contact with, even those he has known for years. The next step is for Brice to take computer science courses, work in the Winthrop Bookstore and DiGiorgio Campus Center and become involved in a student organization.

Winthrop's Think College group will hold a viewing party soon to watch the BET awards show, said Cease-Cook. They will see Toni Braxton presenting Brice his scholarship and giving him a kiss on the cheek. He also has shared cell phone photos with his Winthrop friends of the stars in attendance. For him, it was a night to remember.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or e-mail her at longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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